Sometimes the hardest part of the training is the not training part. The focus and dedication to improvement becomes such a welcomed grind that tunnel vision takes over completely. I’m all about the work that it takes to get better. I’ve become so focused on putting the work in, that it makes me forget about the other important part of the train. The rest and relaxation part.
Time off Is a very underrated but very important tool for recovery and refocusing. Some say that a week off will actually make you better when you come back. I was never so sure about that as I’ve had weeks off where I come back much better and weeks off where I come back feeling like I’ve forgotten my whole repertoire of moves. Add to that the cardio part seems to be much harder as I’m still trying to get back into the swing of things after time off. Nothing really prepares you for fighting like fighting, so it leaves me feeling like I will have missed out on a lot.
The key part in all this is to think of the positives. I’m giving myself a much needed time to rest and recover. Breaks are important for recovery and as long as I still keep my goal in mind and my mental repertoire of moves fresh, My battery should hopefully be charged to keep me through another long year of training and competition. In the meantime, it’s nice to have a little free time, get out, and have some fun outside of the sport. As long as I can keep reminding myself that this is a good thing!
After almost 2 weeks of hobbling around I was sure that I had endured a serious injury. Although this is entirely unlike me I decided to go to a doctor and get myself checked out. It had been about a week and a half and I felt no better at all. I was still limping and my knee felt severely sore and swollen. Upon getting a quick examination, my doctor informed me that I had an LCL strain and possibly some serious meniscus tear. Now I don’t know exactly what all that means, but it sounds really bad. Surgery bad.
I Went for my MRI on Thursday and the suspense of the 24 hour waiting time for my results could have probably killed me. I waited and just sweat it out until late Friday afternoon when the results had finally come in. My doctor informed me that although I had endured a major trauma as indicated by the swelling, I was actually just very lucky. It turns out that despite everything, I am only dealing with inflammation, and while heavy, certainly workable. After my fears of surgery and months of staying out of the gym and the competition scene had taken over, I am given this amazing breath of fresh air! The doctor would like to keep seeing me and have me working some exercise to strengthen the muscles around the joint, But says that I can expect to return to training in one week. I can’t remember the last time I heard better news!
I showed up at a small tournament last weekend. I was initially just going to watch some matches and cheer some friends on. After a couple weeks of enjoying myself, going overboard on ice cream and cheeseburgers after almost every training session, I probably shouldn’t have been competing. Once I got there though, things were different. i saw fights going on, competitors everywhere, and I decided “why not?”. I grabbed my gear out of my car (it’s ALWAYS in my car) and I got ready to jump in. After all, you only live once, right?
Halfway through my third match my leg ended up in a strange position, forcing my knee to loudly pop and almost give way. I continued on with my match, winning and making it to the semi final round. At that point I found myself unable to perform up to par and I eventually ended up losing that match. I hobbled off of the mat and had a really hard time walking without a limp after that. I accepted my 3rd place medal and then proceeded to go get myself some nice. By this point, I could tell something was up. I’ve been through a lot of injuries, mostly off the mat. It started to seem quite obvious that at this point I was in some trouble. I went home and took some ibuprofen, rested some and continued with the ice, but the damage had been done. Something was definitely wrong, and after a week and a half of no improvement, it was time to contact a doctor.